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Richmond County police change cars again

Charger will replace Ford Interceptors

Sunday, March 17, 2013 7:11 PM
Last updated Monday, March 18, 2013 7:30 AM
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Less than a year after the new Ford Police Interceptors hit local roads, the Richmond County Sher­iff’s Office’s patrol cars are getting a new look again.

Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Ramone Lamkin has the first Dodge Charger in the agency's new fleet. Thirty cars have been ordered.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Ramone Lamkin has the first Dodge Charger in the agency's new fleet. Thirty cars have been ordered.

“From this point on we will have the Dodge Char­gers,” said Lt. Ra­mone Lam­kin, of the road patrol. “It’s a much sleeker car.”

Lamkin, who was accustomed to the Dodge from his time with the Georgia State Patrol, said changing models came down to a vote among command staff.

After Ford announced it would no longer build the Crown Victoria after 2011, agencies were forced to decide between the replacement Ford, a Dodge Char­ger or a Chevrolet Caprice. After months of consideration and test driving the models, the staff went with the Ford model. The 34 cars began arriving last summer.

Lamkin said the Ford was a “decent car” with no major issues, but the staff felt the Dodge was a better performer.

“The last command staff had their choice, and we have ours,” he said. “We wanted to put our stamp on things.”

The cars will be solid silver instead of the county’s traditional black and silver. Fleet Manager Ron Crowden said the solid silver is cheaper than a two-tone paint job.

One Dodge with the new paint scheme and design is already on Richmond County roads as a “demo.”

The primary complaint about the Ford after about seven months is that the driver’s door opens only 23.5 inches. Crowden said officers complained about not being able to get out as quickly with equipment on their belts, which would snag in the tight space. The Charger door opens 44 inches.

Staff said in 2011 that the Ford was chosen for its fuel efficiency and price. How­ever, upon further examination, Crow­den said, the differences aren’t that dramatic.

The sheriff’s office paid $30,342 for a fully-outfitted Ford. Bids returned this year price a fully-outfitted Charger for the road patrol at $28,860 and a traffic car at $29,134. Estimated mileage is fairly close, with the Charger getting about two miles per gallon more than the Ford.

“I do have some concerns about the Dodge,” Crowden said. “I don’t have actual practical experience with it as a fleet car.”

The sheriff’s office has ordered 30 Chargers for the upcoming fiscal year along with Chevrolet Impalas for investigators, Honda motorcycles and Tahoes for inmate transport.

Crowden said the Tahoes will solve the problem left when Ford dropped the Crown Victoria. That car could transport three prisoners, but the new Ford and Dodge models can carry only two.

“I think Ford made a bad decision when they decided to do away with the Crown Victoria,” he said.

Comments (29) Add comment
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Darby
25514
Points
Darby 03/18/13 - 12:42 am
4
3
Sorry, but I wouldn't...

allow a Dodge to park in my driveway..

homemedic
9
Points
homemedic 03/18/13 - 01:46 am
1
7
is all law enforcement children

The cars they get and the way there painted is as if there for kids. and they drive like kids too, speeding, racing each other and we need to respect the law..B_ _ S_ _ _. I think youre old enough to figure that out kid.

justthefacts
21707
Points
justthefacts 03/18/13 - 06:18 am
8
0
Doors not wide enough?

OK, that fastball down the middle is tempting (:

ColCo
762
Points
ColCo 03/18/13 - 06:25 am
3
0
Dodge

Whatever savings they enjoy on the front end will be lost over time on maintenance costs.

fatboyhog
1938
Points
fatboyhog 03/18/13 - 06:56 am
1
1
Door openings:

While the subject may be a tempting one (throwing a ball down the middle of the plate), the way the doors open allow the officer, no matter the size, to enter and exit the vehicle more quickly. With all the gear, it's easy to get "hung up" while exiting. The door opening width makes it easier and safer. I think it's also a tactical advantage, too.

fatboyhog
1938
Points
fatboyhog 03/18/13 - 06:58 am
6
1
Respect

"The cars they get and the way there painted is as if there for kids. and they drive like kids too, speeding, racing each other and we need to respect the law..B_ _ S_ _ _. I think youre old enough to figure that out kid."
--------
It's hard to respect a kid who can't spell correctly or that lumps all officers together.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7664
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 03/18/13 - 07:03 am
4
0
Fastball

Justthefact, until you've worn the belt and carried all the equipment, you won't understand it. Try putting a 28 inch (closet door) on your bathroom and you'll understand. A person with a 30 inch waist with all equipment carried, by county policy, will have a 38 to 40 inch waist. Put a cell phone on each side of your body and try jumping out of your vehicle to run somewhere, then comment!!

justthefacts
21707
Points
justthefacts 03/18/13 - 07:47 am
7
0
Big problem

"A person with a 30 inch waist with all equipment carried, by county policy, will have a 38 to 40 inch waist." If so, and I don't doubt your word, the 44 inch doors are not going to help much. Cause I don't think many have 30 inch waists. BTW, it was joke.

seenitB4
86815
Points
seenitB4 03/18/13 - 07:55 am
3
1
Wouldn't surprise me

If they slapped a dang computer on their belt too....they really have a lot on them...

Adam Bomb
357
Points
Adam Bomb 03/18/13 - 08:11 am
3
0
Concern about the Dodges.

Well put. I do have experience with fleet management. Although the Dodges have marginally better fuel economy and slightly better acceleration, their cost to operate is substantially higher than the Ford. Their reliability is not very good and they have been known to break down at the worst moments. They have brakes that last about half as long as most other fleet vehicles. Read Consumer Reports and you'll find that Chrysler products in general have a worse than average reliability rating. Well, we have a new staff at RCSO and they have the right to make their own mistakes. Good luck.

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/18/13 - 08:29 am
4
0
In all the research...

...I have ever done on automotive durability and reliability, I don't think Dodge, Ford, or Chevy come up often in the top 10.

Seems like the Nissan and Lexus folks need to take a hard look at the police car market. In the meantime...has anyone checked Lt. Lamkin's stellar credentials from the Georgia State Patrol?

I don't know about the "whole car", but the man seems to know tires pretty well...

Falconsgirl
170
Points
Falconsgirl 03/18/13 - 08:28 am
3
0
The Chargers just look

The Chargers just look better, in general, to the new Tauruses, at least as a patrol vehicle. The Tauruses look like pregnant roller skates and aren't as intimidating as the Chargers are. When you have something going down and/or the poop hits the fan, you want people pulling up there with that intimidation factor. Obviously, you want the deputies getting out of those vehicles to look as sharp as the vehicles they are getting out of, which isn't always the case, unfortunately. But it's alot better than the whole, "How many fat clowns can you get inside a pregnant rollerskate?" scenerio.

seenitB4
86815
Points
seenitB4 03/18/13 - 08:59 am
2
0
Funny thing

Some men love a dodge & some hate it...I have both in my family...

Jan Warren Holley
39
Points
Jan Warren Holley 03/18/13 - 09:17 am
3
0
new patrol cars

Where are these cars coming from? I hope that they were ordered from a local dealer.

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/18/13 - 09:33 am
2
0
I don't think so...

...from what I heard.

Little Lamb
45859
Points
Little Lamb 03/18/13 - 09:48 am
1
0
Low Bid?

I hope they are to be purchased from the low bidder.

allhans
23619
Points
allhans 03/18/13 - 09:53 am
1
0
Maybe it's politics.

Maybe it's politics. Bail-outs, ya know...

jrbfromga
433
Points
jrbfromga 03/18/13 - 10:11 am
0
0
They could have 80 inch doors
Unpublished

and most of the cops still could not get their big rears out of it. Is the real issue bigger doors or smaller cops?

Sweet son
10338
Points
Sweet son 03/18/13 - 11:25 am
1
1
Austin???

What about Lamkin's credentials? Are they as good as Roundtree's? :)

tom31510
312
Points
tom31510 03/18/13 - 12:18 pm
1
0
Nissan / Lexus

Austin did you have to mention those two? Now there will be an upgraded Sheriffmobile !

TrulyWorried
14056
Points
TrulyWorried 03/18/13 - 12:27 pm
2
0
New patrol cars

- a year has taken a toll on all the patrol cars? The make and model of these new vehicles seem to create more interest than the costs to the taxpayers.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 03/18/13 - 01:28 pm
2
0
Popularity contests

It appears that decisions made on some of the more expensive investments that the sheriff's office is making are based on popularity contests! What has happened to the purchasing departments of yesteryear that employed experts that studied products, goods and services - line by line - to ensure that the taxpayers were getting the best bang for their dollars?

Cameron Poe
872
Points
Cameron Poe 03/18/13 - 02:35 pm
2
0
So maybe someone can explain

So maybe someone can explain this to me. What happened to the Ford's that were recently purchased? Are they already torn apart in a years time? I feel like I remember police cars lasting much longer. Im all for these officers having what they need to do their jobs safely and to the best of their abilities, but was it time for new cars or was it just decided people wanted new cars?

And at the same time are they going to be parking some of these new cars in Harrisburg and other places around the county where we have shootings almost daily?

Darby
25514
Points
Darby 03/18/13 - 03:09 pm
2
0
Dodge makes great trucks,...

cars, not so much...

Darby
25514
Points
Darby 03/18/13 - 03:11 pm
2
1
In site of what Austin recommends...

I think I'll keep buying American in spite of the bad image that our auto workers unions present.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/18/13 - 03:17 pm
1
1
This

Fix
Or
Repair
Daily

allhans
23619
Points
allhans 03/18/13 - 03:53 pm
1
0
An Obama car?

An Obama car?

Darby
25514
Points
Darby 03/18/13 - 05:56 pm
1
0
That Fix Or Repair Daily thingy was probably...

a lot more accurate back in the '50s when it was really popular.

mosovich
799
Points
mosovich 03/18/13 - 09:11 pm
0
0
Found On Road Dead..

My father in law, a retired NY State Trooper, always said they said FORD stood for Found On Road Dead.. Always gave me a laugh.. BTW: He always drove Fords, even in retirement though..

mooseye
266
Points
mooseye 03/18/13 - 10:34 pm
0
0
Why do we keep asking

why our government keeps wasting our money when we are the ones that put them in office?
I don't think Ossama was only thinking of killing people in the trade towers, but probably realized the knee jerk reaction from the American public.
We can justify any kind of wasteful spending by the simple statement that it is for public safety. You didn't have so much of that kind of thinking pre 9-11.
I'm sorry if it offends anyone, but a lot of that thinking is plain flawed. Where can you draw a line? Anyone who says otherwise about the pubic safety thing runs the risk of I told you so in the event something does happen that a new Charger would have prevented!
Sorry for the long sentence, but I had to get the entire thought into it.

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